Adolph von Menzel: pure genius

"Self Portrait"
Adolph von Menzel

The week-ends always do this: knock me for six.
I know they are coming. I know their speed.
I brace myself, hunch down, tuck my elbows in ... tight and wait for impact!
Never fails: the impact gets me wobbling off balance rocking back and forth like a pin, sometimes worse...

This Monday morning balance has been regained.
This is what helped.
Reading about the work of the Master draftsman Adolf Menzel in the latest issue of Drawing Magazine. (Highly informative and insightful article written by Ephraim Rubenstein.)
The discovery of his work is sobering (despite wanting to drink it all in the hope of gaining a portion of his knowledge) . The execution of his work is stunning, the ease at which handles his pencils and paints to be envied and his mastery of light and form spot on.
His work quite simply has to be shared.

"Living Room with artist's Sister"
Adolph von Menzel, 1847

"Balcony Room"
Adolph von Menzel, 1847

"Two Discussing Voters"
Adolph von Menzel, 1849

Adolph von Menzel was born in Breslau, Poland. In 1830, his father moved the family to Berlin and founded a lithgraphy business, in which Menzel worked from the age of fourteen.
Shortly after moving to Berlin, Menzel’s father died unexpectedly leaving a young Menzel as the sole provider for the family. Eventually, Menzel was able to involve other members of the family in the business and pursue an education and career in art. (source: Forgotten Master: Adolf von Menzel )

Only a few images of his work seem to be available to share.
However, if you follow this link to allPaintings you can discover a few more. Look out for "a costume study of a Seated Woman, the Artist's Sister Emilie", "drawing of a Boy" and "Schlafender". Beautiful...

"Studio Wall"
Adolph von Menzel, 1872

Not sure I agree with his interior decorating skills though... These walls would put a dampener on my creativity ...

p.s: for all you Facebook fans I have jumped off the fence and into the FB world. Please feel free to join my fan page. I look forward to meeting you over there. See right column for link


adebanji said…
Thanks for this post and the link to more of Adoph's works! I really LOVE his drawings not so much as his paintings. His drawings have VITALTY!
Adebanji you are welcome. You are right, his drawings are loaded with vitality and energy. They literally blew my socks off. Sadly,found none to use on my blog but they are outstanding, the link has a few. Well worth looking out for:)
Elizabeth said…
Thank you for sharing this artist, new to me. There are a handful of artists I've seen whose work makes my heart swell and literally brings tears to my eyes and I was surprised that looking at these works brought that response. I can't wait to get home from work and spend more time with these pieces. "Travel Plans" really got me along with many others. What a gift of beauty you've brought to us. Thanks again.
Jake Hutley said…
i have only heard of Adolph von menzel a couple of weeks ago from my father. the reason i was told about this man is because i am (maby the youngest don't really know) descendant of Adolph menzel. he is my nan's great great grandfather (or uncle) and so i decided to look up the family history but not much luck
Anonymous said…
Adolph was my grandmother's great great uncle. My grandmother's maiden name is Menzel and she was on of three girls. One died in the 1930's, my grandmother lived until 1995, I am not sure when the last one died but she was over on hundred. We may have one of Adolph's paintings in our possession now. we are no just in the process of getting it finding out if it is an original.
Flopie said…
Thanks for sharing this, it's beautiful! Von Menzel is my favourite artist, and inspires me every day. I found more information about his life and an extensive painting gallery on this website where you can even buy a great quality oil painting reproduction.

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